Crematorium wait times are not right

It is a well known fact that the Winter mortality rate is far greater than any other time of the year.

I am in the fortunate position of not having lost anyone close or dear to me over the Christmas period, but am more than aware of the large number of orbituaries in our local press.

What really shocks me is the huge delay between time of death and the actual date of church service/cremation.

Services are taking place as on a factory production line at Whitley Bay Crematorium or grieving families have diverted to West Road Crematorium.

I know personally of one Whitley Bay family who, after a wait of almost three weeks, have gone from North Tyneside over to South Shields Crematorium rather than wait a further week.

What has happened to the work being carried out at Preston Crematorium?

Like many others I was led to believe that Preston was closing for refurbishment and an extension to the chapel.

Am I wrong is thinking it must be about a year since Preston closed for this work to be done?

Any building contractor worth his salt could have erected an estate of houses during this period.

We know that North Tyneside Council is dragging its heels regarding the re-opening of Northumberland Park, North Shields, but this pales into insignificance compared with the long drawn out trauma of North Tyneside families wanting to give their loved ones a decent send off.

Surely more can be done to speed up the process of bringing this essential service back into use.

Astrid Hymers

Monkseaton